Messi’s Bodyguard Saves Him From Pitch Invader in LAFC Game

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Lionel Messi, the captain of Inter Miami and the former Barcelona star, had a close encounter with a pitch invader who tried to touch him during the second half of the game against LAFC on Sunday. Fortunately, Messi’s personal bodyguard, Yassine Chueko, was quick to react and tackled the fan before he could reach his idol.

Who is Yassine Chueko?

Yassine Chueko is a former soldier who was hired by Inter Miami to look after Messi’s security. He follows Messi everywhere he goes, including on the field, where he stays as close as possible to the 36-year-old player. Chueko’s role is to protect Messi from any potential threats, such as pitch invaders, who might harm or harass him.

Messi’s Bodyguard Saves Him From Pitch Invader in LAFC Game
Messi’s Bodyguard Saves Him From Pitch Invader in LAFC Game

Chueko has a strong bond with Messi, who considers him as a friend and a confidant. Chueko also helps Messi with his daily routine, such as driving him to training, arranging his meals, and booking his hotels. Chueko is fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Arabic, which makes him an ideal companion for Messi.

How did Chueko stop the pitch invader?

The incident happened in the 73rd minute of the game, when Inter Miami was leading 3-0 against LAFC. A male fan, wearing a Barcelona jersey with Messi’s name and number, ran onto the field from the stands and headed towards Messi, who was standing in the center of the pitch.

The fan had a significant head start on Chueko, who was positioned near the touchline. However, Chueko sprinted across the field and reached the fan just before he could touch Messi. Chueko grabbed the fan by his neck and dragged him to the sideline, where he handed him over to three members of the stadium security staff.

Messi looked startled at first but did not seem to be angry or scared by the fan’s intrusion. He even smiled and waved at the fan as he was being escorted away by the security guards. Messi then resumed playing and helped his team secure a 3-1 victory over LAFC.

What did Messi do in the game?

Messi had a brilliant performance in the game, as he provided two assists for his teammates. He set up Jordi Alba for the first goal in the 12th minute with a sublime through ball that split the LAFC defense. He then delivered a perfect cross for Leonardo Campana to head home the third goal in the 58th minute.

Messi also showed his skills and creativity throughout the game, as he dribbled past defenders, created chances, and took shots on goal. He almost scored himself in the 34th minute, when he unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box that hit the crossbar.

Messi has been in great form since joining Inter Miami in August 2023 from Barcelona. He has scored 10 goals and assisted 12 in 15 games so far in MLS. He has also helped Inter Miami climb to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with 42 points from 20 games.

How did LAFC react to the pitch invasion?

LAFC was not happy with the pitch invasion, as it disrupted their concentration and momentum. They were already trailing 3-0 when the fan ran onto the field and they could not recover from that setback. They only managed to score a consolation goal in the 89th minute through Ryan Hollingshead, who headed in a cross from Diego Rossi.

LAFC coach Bob Bradley criticized the security staff for failing to prevent the fan from entering the field. He said that it was unacceptable and dangerous for such incidents to happen in professional games. He also praised Messi for his professionalism and sportsmanship in handling the situation.

LAFC is currently fourth in the Western Conference standings with 35 points from 19 games. They have won nine games, drawn eight, and lost two so far in MLS. They will face Seattle Sounders in their next game on Wednesday.

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